"We started off pretty rough,but we pulled it together and gained momentum during the end, and it carried usthrough the playoff game," says Sentinel senior defender Cole Pine, of their 2013 season.
As the Spartans finished 5thin the western conference regular season, they beat Capital in theplayoffs…meaning all three Missoula boys teams are on their way to state, forthe second year in a row.
"It says a lot. It says that Missoula has a lot ofgreat soccer players and great athletes. We're definitely very talented, all three schools, and I think we'll alldo well in the tournament," says junior midfielder Adam Mickelson.
After making it to Statelast year, they know it's a littledifferent than the regular season.
"It's an increase in play, andspeed, it's an increase in physicality, and the demand to play day after dayafter day if you make it all three days. It's huge, and these young guys will get a lot of experience out ofit. I think they'll see theintensity of it all, which is a step up. They've been building up to this for 2 and a half months, and this isthe culmination of it," says head coach Dan Lochridge.
With a young nucleus ofplayers, the upper-classmen have been sure to instill an understanding in whatthe state cup is like.
"We told them it's a whole newexperience, like nothing you've ever experienced before, it's going to be ofcourse amped up. It's kind of amagical place, anything can happen," says Pine.
Anything can happen, and that'sexactly what the Spartans are looking for as they take on the number oneoverall seed Bozeman Hawks, who are defending champs, and haven't lost once thisyear.
"That's the beautiful thingabout soccer. Regardless of thestandings, there's a reason we play the game, and that's that nobody knowswhose going to win, once you blow the whistle," adds Lochridge.